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The mania continues: the novel “Women’s Gambit” is already in bookstores

Only a few months ago – in October 2020 – Netflix released the miniseries “Women’s Gambit”, which in a few weeks reaped unprecedented success around the world and became an absolute hit and the most watched show on the streaming platform in over 60 countries, including Bulgaria .

Native fans of the magnetic Beth Harmon can now immerse themselves in the original of her story, which the American writer Walter Tevis wrote 38 years ago. The book “Women’s Gambit” was published for the first time in Bulgarian with the logo of the publishing house “Circle”.

Circle Publishing House

The translation is by Borislav Stefanov, and the cover design with a shot from the series is by Natalia Chaikina.

In fact, the plot of the series almost entirely adheres to the book. At the age of 8, Beth Harmon lost her mother in a car accident and ended up in the Methuen Orphanage, where all children were required to take sedatives in the 1960s. She quickly became addicted to the little green pill.

One day in the basement of the orphanage, Beth stumbles upon the cleaner, Mr. Scheibel, who is playing chess alone. Little Elizabeth is instantly captivated, almost mesmerized by the game. Her skills on the board develop in a flash.

The ancient game turned out to be the passion of her life. At the age of 12 she was adopted by a family, which, however, quickly fell apart, and the girl was again left alone with her mother. The young Miss Harmon’s chess career is dizzying, as is her addiction to sedatives and alcohol. In her struggle for survival and happiness, in her search for a place under the sun, Beth fights mostly with her inner demons.

The book is both a depressing and an inspiring journey that takes one breath. Engaging and very dynamic, this compelling novel about chess, addiction and a touch of feminism is as satisfying as a four-stroke checkmate.

Chess has its place in the novel, but it is by no means central. Anyone who has ever felt lost, rejected, or underestimated while harboring a fierce, silent hope of salvation will love this book. However, chess scenes are not missing, like the script of the miniseries.

Circle Publishing House

About the book, Michael Ondatji, the author of The English Patient, says: “Women’s Gambit” is pure delight. I reread it every few years just for fun.

The effect “Ladies’ Gambit”:

The seven episodes of Netflix have raised the search for the word “chess” on Google to record levels for the last 9 years, and the demand for chess sets and accessories on eBay jumped by 250%. Simultaneously with all this, the miniseries “Ladies ‘Gambit” took Walter Tevis’ novel of the same name off the dusty shelf and turned it into a total bestseller.

Footage from the series “Women’s Gambit”

More about the author:

Walter Tevis (1928-1984) was a writer and university professor of literature. In his creative biography he has 6 novels and numerous short stories translated into more than 18 languages. In addition to “Lady’s Gambit”, other works by Tevis have well-known film versions – “The Man Who Fell to the Ground” was shot in 1976 with David Bowie in the lead role, and the story “The Scammer” was adapted in 1961 with the participation of Paul Newman and Jackie Gleeson.

Circle Publishing House

His most successful book, Ladies’ Gambit (1983), is heavily influenced by his personal experience: he himself has been playing chess since he was seven, and gambling and alcohol have accompanied him throughout his life. While Tevis is alive, Ladies’ Gambit is not a resounding success. Today the price of a copy of the first edition starts at $ 500.


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